And so, Volkswagen appears to have come up with a plan to stanch the loss of money and customers -- a plan straight out of the Oprah Winfrey playbook. Inside sources report that VW dealers received word last Thursday that the company will offer two gift cards to TDI owners via a new "TDI Goodwill Program".
Card #1 is a $500 prepaid gift card, good anywhere. Card #2 is worth up to $750, redeemable only at VW dealerships -- presumably for the purchase of a new VW.
If the sources are correct (and FWIW, the reports have been confirmed by several media outlets) the card offer will be made to any owner of a "clean diesel" vehicle, no matter whether they purchased the car new or used. Presumably, however, that vehicle will need to have been equipped with Volkswagen's emissions-test-cheating software. Also, to activate the card, owners will need to visit a VW dealership with proof of vehicle ownership. A list of vehicles associated with the "TDI Goodwill Program" is rumored to be available at VWDieselInfo.com later today.
Worldwide, there are some 11 million 2.0-liter vehicles equipped with Volkswagen's illegal software, including models from sub-brands Seat and Skoda. Here in the U.S., the list includes:
- 2009–2015 Audi A3 TDI
- 2009–2015 VW Beetle TDI
- 2009–2015 VW Beetle Convertible TDI
- 2009–2015 VW Golf TDI
- 2015 VW Golf Sportwagen TDI
- 2009–2015 VW Jetta TDI
- 2009-2014 VW Jetta Sportwagen TDI
- 2012–2015 VW Passat TDI
The list of 3.0-liter Volkswagen models accused of skirting regulations in the U.S. includes:
- 2016 Audi A6 Quattro
- 2016 Audi A7 Quattro
- 2016 Audi A8
- 2016 Audi A8L
- 2016 Audi Q5
- 2015 Porsche Cayenne
- 2014 VW Touareg
According to reports, the gift card program will be limited to vehicles with 2.0-liter diesel engines, but it could expand in short order. And Audi has already added that its owners will be eligible for the cards, too.
Stay tuned for details.